Hashi-what? My Japanese Restaurant Disease

My life, to this point anyways, can best be described as pre-Nolan and post-Nolan. In my pre-Nolan life, I would not be writing this blog. Certainly not about Hashimotos, but probably not any blog. Not because it was a boring life. It was semi-charmed; kinda vanilla. Nolan, by the way, is my 6 month old son.

Pretty cute huh?

Post-Nolan life was “supposed” to be just like it sounds. Insert bouncing baby boy into loving marriage, adjust to new life as a mom, etcetera. But shortly after he was born, I was not feeling well. The beyond the usual postpartum bluesy not feeling well. My hands began to shake. I was exhausted but when I had the opportunity to sleep, I could not. My heart was racing and I felt on the verge of a panic attack every waking moment of the day. I started getting hot flashes and was ALWAYS hot and sweating. Finally, I took my temperature thinking I had a fever. My body temperature was 93.8 degrees. Clearly, not normal.

So I did what most people would do. I googled it. And that’s when I saw it…thyroid disease can cause lowered body temperature. This wasn’t exactly a surprise as both my mother and grandmother had thyroid diseases. I had mine checked every year to watch it, but still thought it’d skip me because I was healthy. Pre-Nolan, I was a runner and a cyclist. I ate healthier than most of America, or so I thought.

I took my hunch right to the doctor the next day. She skipped right over the postpartum depression questions and went right into bloodwork. I received a call that afternoon that my “levels” were off and an immediate referral to an endocrinologist.

Within days my husband and I found ourselves sitting in an endocrinologist’s office and hearing the words “You have hashimoto’s”. Hashi-what? Sounds like the name of a Japanese Restaurant. She went on to explain that my current symptoms were a result of a hyperthyroid state, but that the usual trajectory would result in a hypothyroid state. Translation, my metabolism would slow way down. This autoimmnune disorder was attacking my thyroid gland and would ultimately render it useless. I would eventully be on a medication taken daily for the rest of my life. Telling this to a woman that gained a bit too much during pregnany, and still had a good chunk of weight to lose was a bit traumatizing I have to admit.

So back to google I went (bad idea), and what I found is the reason I decided to start this blog in the first place. Now here is where I need to be careful. I’m not discounting that the side effects of this disease are real and felt by many; including myself. What I felt discouraged about was the lack of positive stories to tell. I felt hopeless and sad reading the endless personal stories of copious weight gain, struggles with weight loss, depression, fatigue, hair falling out, exercise intolerance, infertility, etc… What I needed to hear is how one can LIVE WELL with this disease.

I’ve read nearly everything I can get my hands on. Based on the information I’ve read, I’ve made the following lifestyle changes:

  • I’ve cut out gluten and adopted a “clean” eating lifestyle
  • I work out  days 6 days per week 45-90 minuted per time depending on the type of exercise (this wasn’t that big of a change from pre-pregnancy)
  • I take a high potency daily multivitamin and fish oil supplements

I also should add that about 4 weeks after I was diagnosed, I switched into hypothyroidism. I began taking Levothyroxine, and just had my dosage increased. So far, I feel lucky. I was diagnosed early and was able to avoid a lot of the ugly side effects. I’ve lost 52 0f the 65 pounds I gained in pregnancy, and just completed a half marathon. So far, I feel pretty good.

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